Gloucestershire’s police and crime commissioner, Chris Nelson, is among the first to welcome a new legislation targeting the trade in stolen animals.
Following on from the protect your pooch campaign, launched in May 2021, the tougher law is being introduced by a government taskforce that has recommended thieves are charged under a new offence of ‘pet abduction’ that will lead to long prison sentences for those who commit the crimes.
The law is being put in place to reflect the fact that stolen animals and ‘cherished’ pets mean as much – and often more – than other household property families might lose in a burglary – recognising that animals suffer, too.
PCC Chris Nelson said, ‘I am extremely pleased that all my campaigning on pet theft has produced some strong recommendations to protect our much-loved pets.
A purpose-made offence for pet theft that concentrates on protecting the welfare of our pets and fully recognises their social and emotional value, not just their financial value, should result in sentences that actually deter the organised criminals that carry out these wicked crimes’.